Only one body was in bags

Associated Press
Published December 8, 2007


Only one body was in bags

Police say body parts found in a canal north of Daytona Beach belonged to a young man.

The Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office believes the victim was white, between the ages of 16 and 20, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8, and 135 to 150 pounds.

His remains were discovered in plastic garbage bags Thursday. A fisherman spotted the first bag near the entrance to Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach. It contained a foot and part of a leg.

Police later found other bags. No details have been released about their contents.


Carjacker, victim killed in fiery crash

An armed carjacker and his victim are dead after the carjacker took the woman and her car and crashed into a truck in Florida City.

Authorities say a couple was pumping gas shortly before dawn Friday when the carjacker jumped in the car with the female passenger still inside. Neither was identified.

Authorities chased the car, but the carjacker lost control near a construction site and crashed into a semitrailer. Both vehicles burst into flames.


Holiday decorations wrecked; man shot

A man was charged with attempted murder after he ran over his neighbor's front yard Christmas decorations and then shot the man during an altercation, officials said.

Matthew Lankford, 25, was being held without bond at the Polk County Jail.

A Polk County Sheriff's Office report said Douglas Sheldon was parking his truck in his yard when he got into an argument with Lankford's sister. The woman called Lankford, who later drove through Sheldon's yard and ran over his Christmas decorations, the report said. Sheldon responded by going to Lankford's home, where an argument ensued.

Witnesses told deputies Lankford got a .45-caliber handgun and shot Sheldon in the left arm and abdomen.

Sheldon underwent four hours of surgery and was in stable condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, the report said.


DCF employee accused of $1.5M theft

A state Department of Children and Families employee and two other women have been charged with stealing more than $1.5-million in state assistance money.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Friday that Violet Jones, 41, of Miramar, a DCF supervisor in Plantation, was charged with grand theft, fraud, identity theft, misconduct and money laundering, among other charges.

Jones allegedly diverted to her own home a debit-type card that is used by public assistance recipients and was tied to a real account. Investigators say she authorized extra cash benefits to be deposited into the unknowing recipient's account, then withdrew cash using the card. Jones worked for the DCF for 22 years. Also charged in the case were sisters Shanika Shorter, 25, and Tanisha Shorter, 22, both of Fort Lauderdale. The trio also allegedly used public assistance benefits accounts in Shanika Shorter's name to siphon state money, investigators said.

"These programs are vital to needy families throughout Florida, and any abuse of the state's system will be uncovered and we will seek full prosecution of the people involved," said DCF Secretary Bob Butterworth.

Jones was fired Friday.

Associated Press